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Unitary Councils: Council Tax

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of unitary local government arrangements on the local level of council tax. (197331)

The level of council tax is a matter for individual local authorities. We have assessed, on the basis of councils own estimates that the new unitary local government arrangements that we are establishing, including the creation of nine new unitary councils, will allow in total savings of over £100 million annually to be realised. With such savings, the average equivalent annual reduction in band D council tax could be of the order of £90, although of course it is for each council to decide whether to use these savings on improving services or on reducing council tax.

Keeping council tax under control remains a priority for the Government and we will not hesitate to use our capping powers as necessary to protect council tax payers from excessive increases.